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Paul and Corey Cross the Streams: Season 6, Episode 7 [‘The Searchers’ (1956)]

Paul and Corey Cross the Streams is a bi-monthly podcast in which hosts Paul Pakler and Corey Pepper watch and review streaming content. It’s the Great American Podcast where two friends learn about life as they float down the river of streaming services.

Having amassed more than 100 episodes in its run, PACCTS’ sixth season will focus its sights on “the greatest films of all time” (both in the US and internationally), as assembled by the British Film Institute’s 2022 Sight and Sound Poll of industry critics. Corey will be choosing American films from the list, and Paul will be choosing international ones. 

Our goal is to examine the films that are considered great, and why that may be the case.  

Ranked at 15, John Ford’s The Searchers (1956) has been generally touted as the best American western. German journalist Andreas Kilb called The Searchers, “The essence of American Myth in one film,” and Paul (but maybe not Corey) agrees – with the caveat that that’s not exactly a good thing.

Ford had already made 100 films by this point in his career and worked with star John Wayne in a great number of them. The Searchers marked a maturation of the genre for Ford in which he wanted to tackle the topic of racism through an anti-hero for the ages, Ethan Edwards.

Even within the film and in the context of the time of its relief, there’s a feeling of deep ambivalence in how to feel about Ethan Edwards. And in 2024, the feeling has only grown more complicated (or perhaps clearer than ever).

It all leads to an excellent discussion of America, settler colonialism, and racism as the ideology that allowed/s for the creation of them both.

This Episode’s Focus: The Searchers (1956)
Host’s Choice
: Corey Pepper
Stream on Max, YouTube, Amazon Prime; Rent on Google Play, Apple TV
Corey’s Recipe Recommendations for This Episode:
The Chuckwagon – Western Recipes and 18 Recipes That Celebrate Indigenous American Food Traditions

Be sure to subscribe to Paul and Corey Cross the Streams on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@PACCTSpodcast)!

Special thanks to Tobin for our incredible theme song and Dave Droxler for our podcast’s logo and artwork.




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